Jenny Lawson is my spirit animal.
How many people waited for that Dec 21 apocalypse that never showed its face? Well, here it is ten days later and we’re looking at an entirely new year beginning in a few hours. Maybe a new beginning, even, for some people.
So this is how my year went.
Started working a contract graphic art position with a local company, which has paid me maybe 2k this year. Might be a little more, haven’t really looked at it yet. Have struggled with bills the entire year, more in debt now than a year ago – which is odd since we have no credit cards. But, you know, I don’t feel as stressed as I did a year ago. Something feels different. Like a huge change for the better is rocking its way towards us. We can hope.
Not much else has changed. Oh, I did gain ten to twelve pounds since Thanksgiving – my fault entirely. I incorporated “safe” gluten-free goodies into our diet, huge mistake. Tomorrow will start us back on the honest path of primal eating. By my calculations, based on previous years, I should lose about 30 lbs by Spring. Would love to make it 50 by summer, but I’m letting my gym membership lapse – I didn’t use it enough during 2012 to deem it worth getting again. That’s $30 back in our account every month, to help cover this fiscal cliff crap.
I’m not depressed, don’t get me wrong. I’m just… here.
So, I’m fighting the urge to go completely insane trying to figure out why we can never, ever get ahead.
I know why. I don’t want to think about that, though. I feel that we NEED to have the breaks, we NEED to have a splurge now and then, and we NEED to treat ourselves occasionally. I don’t want to have to deny things to my family just because there are bills to pay.
Not very responsible, I know.
Then, we have the issue of groceries. The estimate now is that we spend, on average, around $900/month at grocery stores. WTF. We don’t buy pre-packaged crap – we buy GOOD food. We don’t buy eggs, we grow those. We don’t buy milk at stores, we get raw milk at a bargain ($3.50) price every week. What we buy is bacon, bacon, bacon, fresh veggies, some frozen veggies, meat, meat, meat. And more meat. And even more. Oh, and butter from pastured cows, but that’s not that expensive, about $3/wk. We cannot go back to eating the standard American diet, or “poor food”, because our health right now is so much better than it’s been in forever.
The main mtg payment is behind by two months – again. Utilities are behind. Student loans are coming due. My husband has a great job with the same employer for 15 years, brings in 3k/month. That’s all. And I maybe make $600/month from freelance contract work because nobody hires people over the age of 50 these days.
I’m looking for the answer, short of becoming one of those parking lot beggars. Sometimes there’s an easy answer, but I think this is one of the times that the answer will be something I don’t want to hear.
we have two pugs that shed horribly in the summer. a few years ago, my husband discovered (by accident) that one of the pugs loves to be vacuumed. she’s twelve years old, acts like a puppy, and chases our cat for sport – and he obliges her by allowing her to catch him occasionally. we love her. we know that she’s not long for this world, but as long as she’s vacuumed and happy, i think we’re doing a good job of making her life a good one.
so, i’ve been absent for awhile. I think three years qualifies as awhile.
certain things have happened in my life. nothing major on the homefront, mind you. just personal struggles that have lifted for the most part.
i graduated with my degree in graphic arts. yippee. like 200 people do that every six months where i live. but it was something that i had started thirty years ago and had to finish. and i did it. bachelors, baby.
so what if the market for graphic artists is flooded? at least i have a contract job that gives me a little income.
what has really changed for me is my entire way of eating. i discovered this website, marksdailyapple.com, and dove in head-first to his blog. you already know that i am a stickler for facts being facts. well, mark sisson does his fact-checking. what i learned from him made my head spin. so, if you’re interested in finding out what he did to change my life, you’ll just have to read and absorb his stuff yourself. i’m done trying to convince people of the absolute brilliance of this simple way of life. some people want to continue their suffering, and perhaps that’s the path they’re on – not mine to change.
suffice it to say, i am free of type 2 diabetes and have lost almost 65 pounds with no effort.
choices, you know? that’s what life’s about.
not my father, but my children’s father – doing what he loves.
my father died when i was 6 or 7. i don’t remember, i was kinda young. he hadn’t lived at home for almost two years. he was in a nursing home, succumbing to the brain tumors that were eating his mind. i vaguely remember visiting him. what i do remember, and can easily recall, is the time before then when he would give me whisker tickles under my chin when he caught me up to give me hugs.
my next father, step-father, was my uncle before being my dad. my father’s half-brother. he was pretty awesome in his own right. he loved to take road trips, he loved my mother with his whole being, he used to sing about the big green dragon with the thirteen tails, and big rock candy mountain. he was fun and took me through my remaining childhood years. when i was 13 he was diagnosed with emphysema. it took him when i was 15 or 16. i can’t remember. i blocked it.
my last father, step-father, had to deal with a heartbroken teenage girl who didn’t want him invading her family. i was belligerent and obnoxious to him, and mostly kept myself shut in my room when i wasn’t sneaking out to be with a mistake of a boyfriend. he was a champ, though, patient for the most part. he got through my issues and spent his remaining, fairly healthy years with my mother in a mountain cabin home. he’s been gone six years now, and i miss him.
go hug your dad. and thank him. even the worst dads must have done something right at some point.
The internet is the bane of my existence.
My new favorite site is factcheck.org – because they provide a very needed service to everyone who has gullible family members, like me. Snopes is another very good site, but it’s more for general fact checking. Factcheck.org is for all those fun political stories that you hear or read every day from the conservative right or the extreme liberal left.
Every email or Facebook update that sounds like a chain letter can be quickly shot down with a few keystrokes.
The more we point out the facts, the more we can educate our friends and families.
I’m not really sure what has happened to me in the last year or so. Whatever it is, whatever its purpose, I don’t like the path it has me on. I feel like I’m being pushed in a direction I’m not ready to travel and there isn’t anything I can do to change my fate.
A couple of years ago, I was doing really well with my meditation. I felt like I was really getting somewhere with the path I was on. I could feel the positive energy flowing through me, and I could see the effect it had on how people related to me. I was learning more about myself and about… everything. And then it was like someone turned off the faucet, and I don’t know why.
There may be one strong possibility as to what cut me off from that beautiful stream of consciousness. At the time, I would have probably been about three months into my new anti-depressant regimen. Hmm, gotta wonder.
Because I’m a little dry where my writing muse is concerned, I decided to post something that I wrote on another blog two years ago. Yes, it has made that big of an impact on my life and is probably the only time I’ve written entirely from the heart. Please don’t take it as preaching – it’ll seem that way – and just read it as the history of my awakening.
And I’m finally posting.
Well, I have to say that our entry into the new year was quiet and uneventful. Nice, though. We stayed home, had a great dinner, spent time with the kids, played games and all that family stuff. Hubbins is still on his “mandatory” time off until mid-month. He’s feeling like he should be getting some things accomplished around here with all this free time he has on his hands. I tell him he needs to just enjoy it while it lasts.
I do wish we could have taken a short trip to Arizona during this time, but cash isn’t happening for us right now. Besides, with all the nasty winter weather of the last week or two, I don’t think it would be wise to try to navigate the highway down through Utah… let alone the one from Page to Payson. I really don’t like driving on ice and snow, and there’s no way that I wouldn’t take a turn driving. So better to wait until good weather.
In other news, I finally finished up a DVD I’ve been working on for my mom. She has hounded me for several years for photos of the kids on a CD so that she can look at them easily enough. I did her one better and put together a nice 15 minute show of photos and video clips. She should like it. I hope so, anyway. I made sure to include a clip of Cindy doing her snow-avoidance. :)